Your first thoughts may be sleek design, famous fairy tales, wind turbines, bicycles and bacon, and trendsetting chefs – but Greater Copenhagen has so much more to offer. Accelerate your business in one of the world's most innovative and digitalised countries with exceptional ease of doing business and a vibrant startup community.
Five reasons to check out and start up in Greater Copenhagen:
- The tight startup community and super high level of trust make it easy to connect and share experiences with everybody in the community.
- You will find highly skilled employees who are great at problem solving, design-oriented and speak out their mind. This means innovation.
- The government strongly backs and pushes the digital agenda, which is why Denmark is the most digital country in the EU.
- You will get access to great accelerators, co-working spaces and investors – Danish Accelerace is the most active accelerator in the Nordics and in top 10 in Europe.
- Denmark is one of the most liveable countries in the world. Monocle Magazine named Copenhagen the world’s most liveable city in 2008, 2013 and 2014.
Zendesk, Unity, Trustpilot, Podio, JustEat and Vivino
Denmark is one of the most creative and innovative countries in Europe, pushing a progressive digitalisation agenda implementing IT in the public sector and making data open and accessible for companies.
The national focus on digitisation and Denmark’s support schemes for entrepreneurs have created a vibrant tech startup community, which has fostered global success companies such as Skype, Unity, Trustpilot, Podio, JustEat, Vivino and Momondo. Tech savvy Danes were also involved in developing ICT busters such as Ruby on Rails, C++ and Google Chrome.
“Copenhagen is a fantastic place for a company when you are 20-50 people, even up to 100. Rather than moving our headquarters, we are becoming more distributed.”
- Peter Holten Muhlmann | CEO and founder of Trustpilot
Denmark is home to 22% of the around 430 scaleups in the Nordics. The Nordic countries have 1.6 scaleups for every 100,000 people, which is 2.5 times the ratio in the UK, almost 6 times the average ratio in continental Europe, and 9 times the ratio of Southern Europe.
Tap into Copenhagen’s supportive startup community
Greater Copenhagen’s tech startup community is a relatively small and closely-knit ecosystem with a high level of trust and peers ready to support you.
“People here have a very high level of trust. When that is combined with having the lowest levels of corruption, it helps explain why some of our US partners are talking to us about setting up their subsidiaries not in London or Amsterdam, but in Copenhagen."
- Lars Thinggaard | President and CEO of Milestone Systems
Many founders from Copenhagen know each other, some from working together in the past. Everybody want their startup to be successful, but never to the detriment of others. A number of successful large businesses and headline-grabbing exits have now emerged from the local ecosystem.
The grass-roots organisation #CPHFTW is a central player representing and working for the tech startups in Greater Copenhagen and Denmark with strong focus on building relationships, knowledge and awareness in the startup community.
Investors and accelerators will help you raise capital
If your business idea is original and your business plan sound, raising capital is relatively easy in Greater Copenhagen.
In 2015, USD 6.5 billion capital was raised in the Nordics. Danish scaleups raised 1.3 times more capital than their Finnish counterparts, although Finland has approx. 1.3 more scaleups than Denmark.
In Greater Copenhagen you will both find good public funding schemes, active business angels, leading accelerators and a viable network of Danish and international venture capital investors.
The Denmark-based accelerator Accelerace is one of Europe’s leading startup accelerators, having helped 250+ startups raise more than 240 million euros in funding and investment as well as providing direct access to an international network of the most relevant mentors, partners, and investors in their industry.
The public Innovation Incubator Scheme, which provides counselling, pre-seed and seed capital for entrepreneurs and new innovative enterprises, operates at the earliest stage of the investment chain, and attracted private investments for almost 200 million US dollars to startups in 2015.
Copenhagen is a talent hub
When looking for people to grow and develop your business, you will be holding a pretty good hand in Greater Copenhagen.
“The Level of education is very high, everyone speaks perfect English, the pool of tech talent is extremely deep and, more importantly, it is available and eager to work at startups.”
- Guillaume Durao | Investment Director, Idinvest Partners
Greater Copenhagen ranks top in terms of university-industry cooperation and offers Scandinavia’s most knowledge-intensive research and business environment.
Tech startups will find many highly qualified people for jobs in both management and engineering, owing to for example the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), which is one of the leading engineering institutions in Europe, and Copenhagen Business School, which is one of Europe’s largest business schools.
“For tech startups there are a lot of very good candidates in both management and engineering that you can draw from to drive a startup company forward”
- Lars Thinggaard | President & CEO at Milestone Systems
The ideal place to expand to Europe and the rest of the world
A Danish company is the ideal platform for expanding to other Nordic and European cities. Denmark offers a unique tax rule according to which foreign branches of a Danish company are generally not subject to pay tax in Denmark.
It is also very easy to get to and from Copenhagen. The Copenhagen Airport has the most international connections among the Nordic airports, and bridging Europe and Scandinavia it is easy to get to most major cities in Northern Europe by train and car.
“Danes are the most ‘international people’ I know in Europe. It is natural for them to travel everywhere to find customers, to hire foreigners or to accept foreign investment. They don’t even think about it.”
- Guillaume Durao | Investment Director, Idinvest Partners
Establishing a company in Denmark is very simple and faster and more cost-efficient than establishing a branch. In fact, a company can be registered and ready for business within a few hours.